Hidden From the Face of Humans by Susan J. Slack
Hidden From the Face of Humans: A Mystery of the Last Egyptian Dynasty is a historical mystery by Susan J. Slack
Who Killed the High Priestess Thermafi? Palace intrigue…sibling rivalries…mysticism…and murder.
Hidden From the Face of Humans is both a warm story of a family pulled into world politics and a sweeping epic that brings to vivid life the last native Egyptian dynasty of 400 BCE. Behind the banquets and the festivities, the world-changing battles and maneuvers, are the great powers of the day: the pharaohs of Egypt, Plato of Athens, Persian King Artaxerxes, and Spartan King Agesilaus.
Moving serenely amidst the political turmoil is Thermafi, an Egyptian Priestess of Isis who, like the Magi of the Middle Eastern deserts and the oracles at Delphi, travels the ancient, timeless path of the unseen. Thermafi seeks no power for herself, but she is privy to the secrets of the powerful. As the beloved confidante of the pharaoh and revered teacher of the heirs to the Egyptian throne, Thermafi has hidden enemies—and someone wants her dead.
A tour de force dramatizing actual events and characters, Hidden from the Face of Humans offers ingenious solutions to longtime historical mysteries—and a page-turning entertainment.
A Word from the Author
I started this project because I felt a strong need to serve justice. That sounds lofty, but here’s what happened.
I’ve always surrounded myself with Egypt-themed stuff. My dog was Tutankhamen (“Tut” to his friends). My finches were Ahkenaten and Nefertiti. Since I was young I always knew about a lady getting murdered on the steps of a temple in ancient Egypt. Over the years, the story of the murdered woman, Thermafi, emerged. “What do you mean?” you may ask. People who believe in reincarnation say, “Oh, a past life.” My answer: “I don’t know. I could have made it up.” But I wrote as if it really happened.
One day in a half sleep I suddenly sat up and yelled, in an obsessed sort of way, the answer to the mystery of who killed her and why. I was surprised and angry and resolved to get to the bottom of the crime. So ten years later I hunkered down and began to write. Ay yi yi. Can we talk about seven years of research? I thought I knew way more than I did. Ha! Just learning that fact was worth the journey of writing the book. And, coincidentally, every time I delved into the history of particular country or region, suddenly they would be in the news. It was uncanny! The Arab Spring, terrorists and invasions and financial crisis’s in Libya, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, Armenia, Syria. Of course most had different names two thousand years ago, but it is the same people, moving or being moved, bearing humiliation and disrespect as objects of ruler’s whims and egos. I feel so very connected to people there now, knowing something of their history and what they have endured for centuries.
Bottom line is, I think Shakespeare’s character Marc Anthony who says, “The evil that men do live after them” was correct. The bad guy of the story in “Hidden From the Face of Humans”, after all these years, has gotten his karmic comeuppance. Microphone now dropped…
(Susan J. Slack 21th April 2016)